Difference Between Data and Information

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Difference between data and information

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|Improve this chart |Data |Information | |Meaning: |Data is raw, unorganized facts that need to |When data is processed, organized, structured| | |be processed. Data can be something simple |or presented in a given context so as to make| | |and seemingly random and useless until it is |it useful, it is called Information. | | |organized. | | |Example: |Each student's test score is one piece of |The class' average score or the | | |data |school's average score is the information | | | |that can be concluded from the given data. | |Definition: |Latin 'datum' meaning "that which is given". |Information is interpreted data. | | |Data was the plural form of datum singular | | | |(M150 adopts the general use of data as | | | |singular. Not everyone agrees.) | |

|Contents | |1 Data vs Information - Differences in meaning | |2 Grammatical note on the word "Data" | |3 Video explaining the differences | |4 See Also | |5 References |

EDITData vs Information - Differences in meaning

Data are plain facts. When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make them useful, they are called Information.

It is not enough to have data (such as statistics on the economy). Data in themselves are fairly useless. But when these data are interpreted and processed to determine its true meaning, they become useful and can be calledInformation. Data is the computer's language. Information is our translation of this language.

EDITGrammatical note on the word "Data"

It should be noted that data is plural (for datum), so the correct grammatical usage is "Data are misleading.". However, in practice people tend to use data as a singular form. e.g. "This data is misleading."

The Differences Between Data, Information and Knowledge

We frequently hear the words Data, Information and Knowledge used as if they are the same thing. You hear people talking about the Internet as a “vast network of human knowledge” or that they’ll “e-mail through the data.” By defining what we mean by data, information and knowledge – and how theyinteract with one another – it should be much easier.

Has Anyone Seen My CDs?

A few years ago, the UK Government Tax office lost some CDs containing 25 million people’s records, when they were posted unsecurely. The fear was that there was enough information contained on them to allow criminals to set up bank accounts, get loans, and do their Christmas shopping… all under someone else’s name. In the fallout, the main argument in the press was about security, and inevitably there were many that were using it to attack Government ministers. Anyone who’s ever worked in a bureaucracy will know that this kind of thing goes on more often that we would like to think, as people cut corners. No procedure or official process is water-tight. It’s just this time, they didn’t get away with it. The media used the terms “data” and “information” interchangeably. For example, one of the...
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